Beirut assassination: Why kill Chatah, not Assir?

Abdulrahman al-Rashed
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Hezbollah’s power was dwindling until it transformed into a terrorist group like the Islamic State of Iraq and Jabat al-Nusra and Asaib al-Haq. It pulled away from combating Israel and began targeting Ahmad al-Assir's group, on both the sectarian and the political level.

Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, verbally fought with singer Fadel Shaker, who like him, turned towards extremism.


All the people whom Hezbollah killed since assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri belong to one rival political party.

Abdelrahman al-Rashed

On the military level, Hezbollah hires its supporters, men and youths alike, as rifles to defend Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria. Its actions are only against unarmed politicians and civil intellectuals.

Yesterday, Hezbollah assassinated another peaceful civil figure, adding a name to the long list of the group’s victims. All the people whom Hezbollah killed since assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri belong to one rival political party.

Fighting against peace

None of the victims have militias and all of them believe in the civility of the state and the sovereignty of its institutions. All are easy targets, unlike the militias of Ahmad al-Assir, who responds to each act with a similar act and each bomb strapped car with another bomb strapped car.

Late Dr. Mohammed Chatah is similar to those Hezbollah killed before him. He's like Samir Kassir (an intellectual), George Hawi (an intellectual and patriotic leader), Gebran Tueni (a journalist killed by a car bomb) and Pierre Gemayel (a promising young politician who believed in co-existence who was shot dead).

Hezbollah also killed former judge Walid Eido and his son. They killed him for the same reason it killed Bassel Fleihan and others. All of them were killed because they were easy targets and figures who Hezbollah knew would not respond violently as these figures did not subscribe to violent agendas.

Many victims of Hezbollah were maimed simply because they spoke out against the organization’s actions.

One victim, Hashem al-Salman, a Lebanese Shiite, was shot in the head in front of his friends while protesting in front of the Iranian embassy. Al-Salamn rejected militarizing the party and demanded Hezbollah's militias exit Syria.

What's the difference between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Jabhat al-Nusra, Asaib al-Haq and Hezbollah? Isn't Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah like Ayman al-Zawhiri and Mohammed al-Golani?

All of them carry agendas of religious and societal hatred. All of them want to dominate in the name of religion. Elimination and murder is their sect. And just like Zawhiri hijacked the sons of the Sunnis to achieve his aims, Nasrallah is exploiting the Shiite youths to hire them to fight in Syria.

No one at all doubts that it's Hezbollah who killed Doctor Chatah and who assassinated dozens of intellectuals and leaders before him. We know that Hezbollah does not care about what is being said and that it respects armed groups like it and those who carry arms.

Despite this, only what's right will prevail in the end.

The world will remember this party for its crimes and not for its once laudable actions of confronting Israel and liberating what was occupied of Lebanon.

This article first appeared in Al Sharq Al Awsat on Dec. 28, 2013.


Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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